Why Serena Williams "Never" Thought She’d Let Her Daughter Play Tennis

During a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, Serena Williams revealed why tennis wasn’t her first choice for her 3-year-old daughter Olympia. Keep scrolling to find out why.

By Mona Thomas Jan 26, 2021 1:37 PMTags
Watch: Serena Williams Will Play U.S. Open Despite Coronavirus

Is Serena Williams rooting for Alexis Olypmia Ohanian Jr. to become a tennis pro?

Well, not exactly. During the Monday, Jan. 25 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the 23-time Grand Slam Champion shared why she let her 3-year-old play tennis during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"I never thought I would let my daughter play tennis," she revealed, "but then I'm just like during this pandemic, it was the only thing that we could do safely. And so, like, well—tennis it is."

Host Stephen Colbert then asked the obvious question: "Why wouldn't you want her to play tennis? Is it just all-consuming?"

Serena, who shares Olympia with her husband Alexis Ohanian, agreed and added, "It's stressful. It's a lot of work. It's a huge commitment, and it might be a little dab of pressure. So, like, I wouldn't actually put her in it, but if that was something she wanted to do, I would absolutely be like, ‘Oh my gosh, you should totally do that!' And I would be rooting for her and supporting her, but it wouldn't be the first thing I would do."

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Although the competitive sport wouldn't have been the athlete's first choice for the toddler, she said Olympia is "a perfectionist on the court" and joked, "Not quite sure where she got that from."

The proud mom also shared where she keeps all 23 of her Grand Slam trophies—apparently some are even missing!

"I keep them in a lot of places. My first Grand Slam I left at my Dad's house at the time and I said, ‘You keep it because cause I'm gonna get another one.' And that was at the U.S. Open," she recalled. "Of course, I was able to get another one. And you know, my coach has a few in France. There's several in my house. I think one or two or three are missing."

Stephen pointed out how valuable the trophies are, as they are "sterling silver trays and big cups and stuff," but Serena believes the lost ones "have been taken" from her home.

"Honestly, I feel like I had a house party years ago and someone got a little too happy at it," she said with a laugh. "I don't know, but I always wonder, ‘Wait, is that where one of my Wimbledon trophies went?"

But it doesn't seem to matter too much to the pro as she mentioned, "Fortunately I'm not really attached to things. You know, my saying is, ‘You can't take it with you when you leave.'"